CTIA Opposes House Bill Taxing Cell Phones for Rural Broadband


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Oregon’s House Bill 2184 hopes to raise $10 million per year in an effort to fund broadband projects throughout the state. Advocates say it would cost cell phone subscribers between $4 and $12 a year, according to the Oregonian. The bill, however,  is opposed by the wireless industry, which hopes to keep cell phone fees at a minimum. CTIA believes a wireless phone tax to subsidize wired internet service is nonsensical and burdensome to Oregonians.

“HB 2184 is tens of millions of dollars in taxes that will hurt all Oregonians – including those with low and moderate incomes,” said Jamie Hastings, vice president of state and external affairs for CTIA.  “This regressive bill will have a negative impact on working families and burden those who rely most on wireless as a vital lifeline,” Hastings said in a written statement. 

“We can’t all be part of the modern life and the modern world if we don’t have access to some of the needs,” said Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, one of the bills sponsors.

She said for rural communities, broadband is a lifeline that has become indispensable for the operation of businesses, schools and families.

“We’ve just got this ginormous urban-rural technology divide, and that can’t be good for any of us,” she told the Oregonian.

March 13, 2019

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